Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Intro to Creative Art Journaling - Sat, June 9

Almost every day, my brain has been dreaming up ideas for creating experiences that connect people to God and each other, cohort conversation topics, conference themes, and spiritual formation retreat elements. Yet, for the past 3 years, I've been busy putting those ideas into grad school papers and in one-on-one meetings with the many people who email up/rooted - the Chicago Emergent Village cohort, attempting to connect with other people in the area who are reimagining church life in this culture and within our Chicago context. Now that I'm done with my grad program, I've begun putting together this year's cohort events schedule and other experiences to equip and resource church and ministry leaders.

Out of hundreds of encounters traveling across the globe, I've met many people for whom connecting with God beyond the intellectual level of belief is a challenge. The practice of listening to God is difficult, and prayer is often like leaving a voice mail message hoping that God checks it someday and gets back to us.

So, I've asked a friend, Tamara Peterson who teaches spiritual art journaling to put together a class for us. Moody Radio will also be featuring her Artful Story work on the Midday Connection May 23rd.

This "Intro to Creative Art Journaling" class introduces a hands-on approach to teaching people how to connect with God - expressing their true selves, prayers, desires, longings, pain, joy or other emotions through creative art form, and listening for what God would say.

"God, what do you think/feel about me?" "God, I struggle with....Where are you?" And, then we listen and paint, write, draw, glue and smudge the colors that we hear God whisper.

This class is not just geared for those who are naturally artistic or creative. But, even for the experienced creative, this class is designed to awaken you to another way that God speaks and another way to pray. This is the first of many more to come that are designed to help connect people to God, and others and to help us listen to our own souls.

Through this hands-on intro to creative art journaling class, you will be invited to incorporate your prayers, desires, dreams, or a snapshot of your life into a piece of art, on canvas or in a take-home journal. Class is geared for all levels, beginner artists to advanced.

$30 class fee includes art supplies used during 3 hr class, coffee/tea and snacks, and assists in providing class scholarships to others in need.

Please bring your own notebook/sketchbook or there will be a limited number of canvas available for sale at the registration check in table on the day of the class.

Sacred Heart Monastery in Lisle, IL has graciously agreed to host this event.  Registration and cost details at the link below.

Sat, June 9th 1pm - 4pm  $30
Please register and pay online
Email to request class fee scholarship.

Kristine Socall
cohort coordinator
twitter @kristinesocall
twitter @chicagocohort

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

First 2012 cohort event - "Evangelism in the Inventive Age"

We’re hosting Doug Pagitt for a discussion on “Evangelism in the Inventive Age” for our first 2012 event.

Mon, Feb 13th 6:30pm – 8pm
Overflow Coffee Bar, 1550 S. State Street, Chicago south loop location

Overflow Coffee Bar is run by a missional community church team; their space is utilized by 3 other churches, a community resource center, yoga classes and an arts institute in the launch phase.

Directions, details and RSVP here -Please do RSVP so we can prepare the coffee shop staff for our group size.

This event is free, but we’d love it if you showed our hosts some love by ordering a fair trade coffee or other drink – if your budget permits.

Hope to see you there!
Kristine Socall
Now blogging

As me @KristineSocall
As Cohort Event Planner @chicagocohort
Social entrepreneur @gifteddreamers @soakparty and @smallthingsmttr

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Friday, Feb 26th, 2011 at 7pm, come share and discuss, visions, dreams, thoughts on church and faith, call, with other emergent, new monastic, mystical theological types seeking community of the Kingdom in church and world.

Bring a dish to share, and we will break bread together.

All are also invited to Evening Prayer with the Community of Holy Trinity at 7 p.m, meeting at the old parsonage of Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1510 W. Elmdale, Chicago.

Please RSVP via facebook or reply email.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday party

Join us Sat, Dec 11th @ 7:30pm at St. Paul's Lutheran Church (515 S. Wheaton Ave., Wheaton, IL) for an Elf movie/cookies/cocoa party!

We're going to laugh our faces off watching Elf & then stuff our faces with Christmas cookies and hot cocoa...."and snuggle" (must watch the movie to understand)!

Bring a dozen or two Christmas cookies, wear a Christmas sweater (ugly or not), and feel free to come wearing flannel PJ pants and slippers (or whatever else you'd like to wear)....and we will be taking pictures for posterity of course!


Bring a friend, or two, or three, or your kids, or your neighbor's kids!

See you soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Parable of the Unexpected Guest

Join us at Gino's East Pizza in downtown Wheaton on Thurs, Nov 18th at 6:30pm. We'll be discussion discipleship and providing feedback to David Zimmerman on his (soon-to-be-published) manuscript "The Parable of the Unexpected Guest". It's a quick read and intended to frame the discipleship conversation. If you'll be attending, please let us know so we can send you the manuscript to read in advance.

For our December meeting, we have 3 options that we are proposing to the group:
1) Thurs, Dec 9 6:30pm at Gino's Pizza in Wheaton discussing Bonhoeffer's "Life Together"
2) Fri, Dec 10th 7pm Wheaton Center Towers Clubhouse - Watching the movie Elf
3) Sat, Dec 11th volunteering at the Outreach Community Center's Christmas Store in Carol Stream

OCTOBER Summary:
Last month, we gathered to discuss the question, "When does the Christian life begin?" We asked three people to tell their stories. The rules were fairly simple: our experience is not your experience – so don't feel judged if things differ and please withhold judgment until the whole story is on the table. It is easy to write people off because they don't start where you started or don't draw the conclusions you would have, but, in reality, discussing real people's lives, things are not always simple and not always as easily concluded.

Mark Williamson began the evening framing his experience by pointing to the Sacrament of Baptism as the start of his faith journey. For Mark, his life in Christ started before he could say or do anything. Before he was someone “worthy” and before he had performed a single good deed, in his baptism God accepted him. For Mark, the Christian life did not start with a decision he made -- it started as an act of God. It started in the faith of his family and of his church but most importantly it started with a God who loves us before we are lovable. His tradition (Lutheran-ELCA) baptizes infants (and people of any age who haven't been baptized before) and he was himself baptized as an infant and brought up within the church. Fast-forwarding from his early childhood to high school, he recounted a story of being brought to a mega-church event by a friend – an outreach “Target” night. Apparently Mark had a bulls-eye on him. They played games, broke into groups by school, and then gathered for a concluding worship service. Near the end, the speaker asked everyone to pray a particular prayer which he led. Mark followed as he was told, after concluding the speaker asked everyone who prayed the prayer to stand up. So Mark did. As it turns out he had prayed some form of the traditional Sinner's Prayer and was sent to the back to discuss what it means to be a Christian. Mark commented to us, “But I already was a Christian.” He had been baptized, taught the Scriptures, been confirmed in the church, and given himself to the faith – before walking into that church.

Patrick Green then shared his story with us. He told us that he knows when it was clear to him that he was a part of the Christian life, but that it must have started earlier. He told us of his isolation in high school and that he was lonely. In the end he joined the drama club for various reasons and made friends there. The majority of the club was involved in church and split about equally between two congregations. Pat recalls one day he decided to go to church. The decision between the two congregations was easy, one was closer and he had to ride his bicycle. So he put on his finest clothes, a suit, and peddled his way to church – with an enormous bible in his backpack. He got there and discovered himself overdressed and unsure how he fit in. But the pastor, a polio survivor with serious physical challenges gave a message that showed a beauty and love within the faith. He was shuffled off to the youth program, but, according to Pat, that guy was a complete jerk. He continued to attend and after a while shifted to the other congregation because, “the girls were cuter” where he met a different youth pastor and felt more welcomed. From there he went off to college to be a pastor, and ended up in youth ministry himself. He remembers when he knew that he was living the Christian life. One of the girls in his ministry was pregnant. The senior pastor and the church board indicated that she was banned from the ministry so as to not set a bad example. After some debate, Pat quit on the spot. For Pat the Christian life started at some point, but all the events leading him up to this decision, when totaled, do not seem to add up to any definitive starting point."

Kristine Socall then shared her story, a story without a definite point in time to look back upon and say - there is where her Christian life began. What existed was merely an ongoing series of pivotal faith moments drawing her closer to God. Her earliest faith memory is an experience at the age of 5 when she shared her understanding of the Gospel ("a description of Heaven and Hell, where do you want to go, then just say this prayer-kind of Gospel....) with her Jewish neighbor and then recited the Sinner's prayer with him. A few years later, while sharing the "Gospel" with another neighbor, and being called into the house to do the dishes, she responded, “I am about my Father's business.” Needless to say, the spiritual transformation towards humility came a bit later. She went to a Christian school for part of her elementary education years, but eventually ended up in a public jr. high school where she was mocked and bullied to tears on a daily basis, which continued mostly through high school. However, when she was alone a few of her classmates would approach her with questions about faith. She would answer them as best she could, but later her responses were further used as tools of ridicule. She felt unwelcome and unloved – set off rather than set apart from everyone around her. However, she was filled with an increasing desire to know God and to help broken people like herself. She went off to a Christian college; yet, though theology was a option, she majored in organizational relations, having been told by a family member, “What do you call theology majors? ...Unemployed.” During her life she has been baptized 3 times, once as a child and twice as an adult. But while those later events marked spaces of doubt and uncertainty in her faith and came from a desire "to be sure", they do not mark a change in her dedication or passion for the faith. For her, if the Christian life had a particular event or point of beginning, it is beyond her memories. She has not known a time in life without knowing God and talking to Him during the times when she had no one else to talk to.

What's your story? We'd love to dialogue with you!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Emerging Perspectives: When Does the Christian Life Begin?

October 14th @7pm, up/rooted.west is back at Gino's in Wheaton for a roundtable (usually it's a round table, depends where they seat us) on the question "When Does the Christian Life Begin?" Spoiler alert: there won't be just one answer. We'll have Kristine Socall, Pat Green, and myself each talking about the story of our own Christian origins, inviting others to interact with these personal stories, and possibly sharing bits from their own, along the way. Our goal again won't be to try to settle on the right one--and as ground rules for the discussion, we'll take care not to judge the authenticity of anyone's coming to faith (and this isn't just a warm-up for some sort of altar call at the end either)--but rather to struggle with and hopefully appreciate the diversity of these stories and stand in greater awe of the God who gathers us in to the family of Christ with more agility and grace than we can pin down into a program or system.

So come and join us; no preparation or experience required. Nor does your Christian life have to have begun already--maybe that'll even be one of the responses to this question... Just come with a hunger to know God more deeply, and an appetite for pizza too.

up/rooted.west co-leader

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Music and Culture Making with Bill Mallonee at Reimagine Worship

[Here's an invitation from Fred at Redeemer. I'm definitely not going to miss this. --Mark (up/rooted.west)]

Hey Up/Rooted friends!,

We're excited to announce our next Reimagine Worship gathering at Redeemer in Park Ridge, Friday, September 24 @7pm. Bill Mallonee - the lyrical and musical voice behind the Americana/indie band Vigilantes of Love - will our very special musical guest. Paste Music Magazine, in a 2006 poll of writers and artists, listed this Athens, Ga.-based musician as #65 in their "100 Best Living Songwriters." He has performed with such artists as Buddy Miller, Mark Olsen (the Jayhawks), Bruce Cockburn, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, REM, Sufjan Stevens, Derek Webb, North Mississippi Allstars, Pedro the Lion, Denison Witmer, Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket, and the Gin Blossoms. With a career that dates back to the late '80s, Mallonee has recorded 23 CDs and has steadily garnered critical acclaim in both Christian and secular media.

As our theme for the evening, we'll be exploring some of the intersections between the church and the culture at large. To quote the author Andy Crouch, "It is not enough to condemn culture, nor is it sufficient merely to critique culture, copy culture or consume culture. The only way to change culture is to create culture." That task puts a Christian artist like Bill Mallonee on the leading edge of culture creation. We'll hear Bill's music and his reflections on what it means to be a Christian, an artist, and a culture-maker, plus take time for some discussion in small groups.

As usual, along with plenty of good conversation, we'll also have great coffee and snacks to go with it.

This promises to be another memorable and significant evening, so spread the news to your friends and join us at Reimagine Worship.

Fred Nelson